The Louisville Cardinals head into the 2011 Belk Bowl against the N.C. State Wolfpack starting 10 freshman, seeing the game as a chance of continued growth for a young football team to close out and prepare for 2012. Second year head coach Charlie Strong took the difficult road to make a bowl game, having to win five of the Cardinals final six games. Freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was able to settle in after the team moved to a more pistol style of offense, setting the school record for passing yards by a freshman with 1,855 yards in the air. Bridgewater took over the starting job during the Kentucky game, after leading the Cardinals to the win over an SEC opponent.
The NC State Wolfpack on the other hand are making their third bowl appearance of the last five seasons. Last year, N.C. State surprised the West Virginia Mountaineers 23-7 in the Champs Sports Bowl. "Anytime you get to a situation we were in you're either going to cash your chips in or you're going to make a move," head coach Tom O'Brien said. "We made a move." Quarterback Mike Glennon stepped up for Russell Wilson, who transferred to Wisconsin. Glennon threw at least three touchdowns in three games this season, but will be taking on a Louisville defense that doesn't even give up 20 points per game. The Wolfpack offense brings a balanced attack that can run the football and throw the football equally as effectively.
The game can be streamed live online on ESPN3.com.
Game date, time: 8:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, December 27th
Location: Bank of America, Charlotte, NC
TV channel: ESPN/ESPN3
Odds: NC State favored by 1.5
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